(h/t Hot Air)
Remember when former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said this in defense of Governor Palin during the Republican National Convention last September?
Newt laid the proverbial smackdown on that dejected MSNBC reporter, leaving even Keith Olbermann shaking in his "big and tall" tailored suit.
Immediately after the election, Gingrich then went on to say to Fox News' Greta Van Susteren of Gov. Palin that "She'll be a force for a long time;" "She clearly has a nationwide constituency, she's intelligent, she's articulate;" "She's going to wear very well on the American people..." here:
Watch Newt defend the Governor here, here, and here.
However, just a couple weeks after the election, Newt's tone and overall rhetoric regarding Gov. Palin began to shift as evidenced here on Face the Nation:
To what can this shift in opinion from the former Speaker regarding the Governor be attributed? Sadly it's just politics as usual, folks. Simple as that.
The rhetoric shift can be partially attributed to a politician simply seeking to boost his credentials, pocketbook, and favorability ratings amongst the public. Just take a look at the events to which both Governor Palin and Newt Gingrich have been invited this year (of which we have knowledge): CPAC 2009 and the NRCC/NRSC fundraiser.
As previously reported at C4P here and here, Gov. Palin had only been invited to CPAC; she at no point indicated she would attend. For whom did this crack open the door of opportunity politically? Why, I'll be darned...Newt Gingrich, of course!
Oh, and since da 'Cuda also chose not to attend the NRCC/NRSC fundraiser this coming summer, guess who was chosen to fill in for her? That's right. It's Newt doggone it! Surprise! (Find extensive C4P coverage of this here and here.) As our own R. A. Mansour elaborated, the NRCC/NRSC dinner truly could have had a "contender," but they behaved a bit impatiently, much like a child searching for Christmas presents in his parent's closet (What? Hasn't everyone?), spoiling the fun for everyone - not to mention the considerable amount of potential cash and attention Gov. Palin would have undoubtedly drawn to the event. Yes, RAM. I concur. This really is yet another "epic fail" on the part of the GOP.
So now you're probably asking yourself, "Gee, what's Newt said recently that's got this contributor all fired up? It's not like he snubbed Governor Palin on Leno or anything."
You're right. No snub on national television due to a creeping senility or just out of sheer spite, but let's just say Newt may be thinking about his political future in this piece from Christianity Today:
Who do you see as the emerging leaders in the Republican Party: Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin?
Bobby Jindal is certainly brilliant and has a great future. Tim Pawlenty has a great future. There are a lot of people who are terrific. The fact is, I think that you can look at [governor of South Carolina] Mark Sanford, Paul Ryan in the House, [California congressman] Kevin McCarthy, or Eric Cantor [in the House]. I just think we're likely to have a dramatic resurgence. We have two great candidates in Ohio, John Kasich for governor and Rob Portman for the Senate, who are likely to be very, very effective.
Do you see any women emerging in the GOP leadership?
I would start, frankly, with Linda Lingle in Hawaii, who was a terrific governor who got re-elected in very difficult circumstances. You have Kay Bailey Hutchinson running for the governorship of Texas. If she wins that, she will automatically be a national figure because she'll be the governor of the second largest state.
You didn't mention Sarah Palin.
Sarah Palin has an obvious role if she wants it. The question for her has to be, are she and her family willing to go through another couple of years of the kind of media coverage that they currently get? Is she willing to do the kind of development of national issues and development of a national profile that would be required? She is a celebrity in her own right. She is probably the most successful figure in the party right now, and she's a formidable figure. I think to go from there to becoming a national leader would take a significant amount of work.
Woah. So let me get this straight. Newt Gingrich has gone from believing Sarah Palin is "...a force for a long time..."; "...having a nationwide constituency..."; "...best known Republican governor in the country today..." after the election to now snubbing her outright in interviews. Please, spare us the "is her family willing to go through another couple of years of the kind of media coverage that they currently get?" argument. How come this does not apply to any other of the names mentioned? What about Bobby Jindal's family? This issue is obviously a red herring, leading us away from the root of the problem.
Notice how Newt cannot control his "politicking" by resorting to last ditch efforts such as mentioning the names of other GOP women prior to Governor Palin like Gov. Linda "Does my lei look good?" Lingle and even Sen. Kay Bailey "I don't know Palin" Hutchison.
Don't misunderstand. I think the former Speaker has done much for the GOP (in the 1990s) and in terms of educating the folks of the need to "drill here, drill now", but his sudden throwing of Gov. Palin under the bus is wrong, and we ordinary barbarians should stand up and fight. Come on, Mr. Speaker. We thought you were a team player.
If Gov. Lingle or Sen. Hutchison were so much more qualified or experienced to be John McCain's VP pick than Gov. Palin, why didn't Sen. McCain choose one of them? Conservatives should have been so much more at ease with them in the #2 spot, right? Isn't that what you're saying, Mr. Speaker? First of all, how are either of these women more qualified than Sarah Palin? Lingle was elected to her first term in 2002, (formerly Mayor of Maui County...sound like anyone we know?) and Hutchison has been a Senator for 16 years (Is it getting difficult to control your enthusiasm yet?). I bet those campaign rallies would have been so much more intense and exciting than a rally with the Governor from Alaska headlining (that accent drives me bananas, anyway). I bet those rallies would have gone just like this:
For this Sen. McCain is due a major thanks. He chose a real, authentic, genuine, and honest politician for that #2 slot. "An honest politician, really?" You're probably thinking it sounds like an oxymoron. It's not, and Governor Sarah Palin proves that time and again.
For example, just look at the Vanderburgh County Right to Life Banquet Governor Palin attended last Thursday. Why did she go? It's a cause that is near and dear to her heart, especially due to her Christian faith and her own personal struggles with coming to grips about her own son, Trig, being born with Down's Syndrome. The Right to Life folks even offered to put on a fundraiser for Gov. Palin's SarahPAC, to which she said "thanks, but no thanks."
Those who witnessed the incredibly heartfelt and revealing speech by Gov. Palin last Thursday know that she truly is that "Storm" from the North, as Michael Steele introduced her as. She has that X-factor that no other current GOP name has - what you see is what you get.
Thomas Langhorne from the Evansville Courier writes:
Overflow crowd saw Sarah, not candidate.
Nick Hermann, chairman of the Vanderburgh County Republican Party, said Palin's personal magnetism, which Mack likened to Obama's, is also a key to her appeal.
The Right to Life banquet marked the fourth time Hermann has seen Palin in person, including the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., and two 2008 campaign speeches in Indiana.
"She has great stage presence, but she also works the crowd well," Hermann said. "It's unusual to have both. (Former GOP presidential candidate) Mike Huckabee, for instance, works the crowd well but doesn't have the stage presence."
But he said Palin has an "Every Woman" appeal and a personal authenticity that could prove to be considerable political assets on the road to 2012.
"The Right to Life banquet (at which Palin teared up over her baby son who was born with Down syndrome and spoke openly of her teenage daughter's pregnancy) was the first time I've seen her really open up and talk about her story, her feelings," he said. "Sometimes, politicians seem too perfect. She really connected with people."
It was a sentiment expressed over and over again by people who met Palin while she was in Evansville, including several young servers at Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano who waited on the Alaska governor at Friday's private breakfast event hosted by S.M.I.L.E. on Down syndrome.
"It didn't even feel like you were in front of somebody that was famous," said server Chrissy Heffernan. "It felt like you were in front of somebody that you've known forever. She was just very nice, very personable, very personable."
Goedde, who headed up a detail of about 20 city and county law enforcement officers who volunteered or were compensated by Right to Life to guard Palin, said he made a point of watching the Alaska governor's interactions with people.
"I thought, 'I'm going to watch and see if there's ever a sign that this is all a put-on,'" he said. "I never saw it. Never once did I see her say or do anything that made her look less than sincere, like rolling her eyes when no one was looking.
"She was just like a hometown girl from Evansville, Ind., coming home after making good."
Goedde marveled at Palin's ability to remember the first names of people she met and to connect with each of the law enforcement officers who protected her.
"People looked up to her almost in a rock star way, but it was also with respect, not just 'Oh, Sarah, Sarah,'" he said. "I don't know any other way to say it, but this lady is the real deal."
Palin made a similar impression on Nina Fuller, who shared a private breakfast with her and about a half-dozen other people Friday morning before the larger event at Biaggi's.
"There was not a political word in the conversation," said Fuller, executive director of S.M.I.L.E.
"Gov. Palin is now a good friend of mine, and her name is Sarah."
It can be deduced that people really, really like Governor Palin. They aren't as attracted to the more "standoffish" types like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney or those who may lack a bit in the stage presence area like Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, or Tim Pawlenty. This isn't an attack on their personalities - it's factual. So, it seems logical the the GOP and its leaders would want to embrace a rising star in its party like Gov. Palin. Why don't they? What's the deal? Aren't they only hurting themselves by leaving her out to dry?
The answer to this question is simple. It comes with the price of human nature. Newt Gingrich obviously has his own political interests in mind for the upcoming 2012 campaign. This can be the only explanation of his "leveling of the playing field" to not include Gov. Palin in his responses to questions about GOP leadership. Why would he want to place himself in the path of "the Storm" anyway? She'd be too much of an obstacle, so best to get her out of the path first.
Want to know what the good news is out of all of this nonsense? Each time the Governor of Alaska is beaten and bruised, whether it be dealing with the legislative issues at home or the lack of support from many of the "intellectuals" in the conservative movement, she comes back stronger than ever. She has the personality type to continue sprinting up and down a basketball court despite having a stress-fractured ankle (yes, it's a true story).
Sorry to break the news to you, Mr. Speaker and all the other folks in the GOP who may be suffering from any potential form PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome), but Sarah Palin wasn't called the Barracuda in high school for nothing. Despite all the hatred towards her faith, the "tabloidization" of her family, the false lack of experience and lack of intelligence claims, Governor Sarah Palin won't "crawl up in the corner and quiver" as my Business Policy professor would say to those students who aren't prepared for class. She's ready for a fight. A fight to stand up for her faith, her family, and her state; a fight to appeal and relate to the "Joe the Plumbers" of this great nation that keep this country running every day; a fight to prove that Americans aren't just looking for someone who talks a good talk but has a proven track record of walking the walk, no matter what the political or personal consequences may be.
This is why millions of Americans love Governor Sarah Palin, and this is why we here at C4P continue to stand up and fight for her every day. It is, after all, the logical thing to do.
Cross-posted at Conservatives4Palin